$6,000 worth of cigarettes stolen from west Houston store

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by Jeffery McShan / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 7:21 PM

HOUSTON -- Thieves were caught on camera breaking into west Houston convenience store early Wednesday morning.

When Dost Thebo opened up his convenience store in the 11400 block of West Road, it didn't take long for him to realize that something wasn't right.

"I saw this broken ATM machine and the first thing that came into my mind was there had been a break-in,” Thebo said.

And over behind the counter his fears were confirmed. All of his cigarettes were gone.

"This whole shelf and all the cigarettes is completely out," Thebo said.

What happened overnight was captured on camera.

Officials said at least two suspects broke in through a wall that separates a business next door and made their way to the ATM machine and cigarettes.

The video shows them stuffing a garbage can with the items

Police say the suspects were in the store for more than 30 minutes. They got away with about $6,000 worth of goods.

"I was planning to take my kids on vacation or something, but now there is nothing here," Thebo said.

Cigarettes are a hot commodity. Depending on the brand, a carton can cost anywhere from $40 to nearly $60.

In recent years, drivers of trucks carrying cigarettes to convenience stores similar to this one have even been hijacked.

"This is the second time I've been broken into. Two months ago. And it was the same guy," Thebo said.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office urges anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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